Friday, September 23, 2011

Heading North?

Well, we're leaning toward West Virginia for our vacation. Carole, too, wants to revisit the area around Helvetia. There are some spots we didn't get a chance to see, and I want to hike some trails I missed the last time.

The talus field at the summit of Spruce Knob, the highest point in West Virginia.

Posted here is the last place we tent-camped before we bought our Casita travel trailer and the place that is, in fact, the reason we bought the trailer. This was our campsite at Standing Indian Campground, part of the Nantahala National Forest. Located not far from Murphy, NC, the area is home to one of the densest black bear populations in the country. There are a LOT of black bears living there. Unfortunately, some of them are habituated to humans and their food. Although we were careful about storing food in the back of our truck, a very large black bear still invaded our site and proceeded to tear through anything that even looked as if it might contain food. It was a harrowing experience, especially since the bear ended up being rather aggressive and returned after I initially chased it off. After that, we had to climb into the cab of our truck after which--by gunning the engine--I succeeded in chasing it off. The next day, the resident ranger told me that the bear had terrorized the campground from one end to the other during the night, stealing food and destroying camping equipment. So we weren't alone.

The last campsite we used our tent setup. The bear raided us that night, knocking everything from the table and ripping open all of the containers.
At any rate, a few weeks later we purchased our beloved Casita travel trailer. Carole misses tent camping, but I don't. I still sleep in my one-man tent when I go backpacking, but I far more prefer camping in our secure hard-sided Casita than in a flimsy tent. It's not only more secure, it's also drier and more comfortable.

The day I brought the Casita home from Georgia. Since then, we've used it on most of our vacations. (The old Nissan Frontier--it was a really good truck.)

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